There isn’t enough time for …
I wish I had more time to do …
I can’t find time to …
The truth is if something is important to us we will usually find the time, it magically appears if you want something enough. Writers who cannot be silenced will wake at 4am to get in two hours of writing before work. Someone who needs to run in order to live will run in whatever time slot becomes available to them.
Sometimes we have to stop and ask ourselves why we keep “not having time” for something. It may be time to let go of a goal if your heart is not in it. It may be time to get creative in how you approach something (exercise as a family instead of trying to get to the gym alone) or reassess how much time you are aiming to spend on it (yoga twice a week rather than aiming for a daily practice with three kids under foot).
If you genuinely struggle to find enough time to do all you want to do, here are some ways to free up more time with minimal pain by either eliminating tasks, reducing time spent on them or becoming more efficient with systems:
- set up automatic bill paying (and anything else that you can automate)
- create systems for recurring tasks so they become “set and forget”
- check emails and social media at set times of the day
- cut back on screen time (also try recording shows to watch later without ads)
- decrease travel time by choosing local where possible
- group similar tasks and errands and do them in one trip / session
- use a timer (or online control) to stay on task
- combine activities like exercise and socializing (hike with friends, meet for a gym class, train for a 5km run together)
- lower your standards with house cleaning and chores if you currently spend a lot of time on them (those of us doing the minimums can ignore this)
- do your most important tasks when your energy levels are highest
- learn to delegate and be okay with it (does it matter if the laundry is folded perfectly or that your teen has taken on a task?)
- say no to things that don’t matter to you
- cook once, eat twice or explore once a month/ freezer cooking
- have a weekly planning session to get a clear picture of what is coming up, be proactive instead of reactive
- car pool where possible
- order groceries (and many other things) online and have them delivered
- close down or lock non-essential windows and browsers when working on your computer to eliminate distractions
- schedule in your time wasters instead of using them to procrastinate
- meal plan and then buy needed ingredients for the week
- stop ironing everything
- eat and sleep well so you have energy and can stay focused
What have you found to be your greatest time savers to free up time in your day or week?
Personally I find batching tasks and errands to be my best time saver and am working on extending this to checking email and social media at set times.
Find your simple,
Image credit: Time goes by so fast by flickr user Janet R3